Cocaine Possession Distribution
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that is among the most commonly used recreational drugs in the world. The United States is the greatest consumer of cocaine in the international community and within the U.S., cocaine is second only to marijuana as the most frequently used recreational drug. Cocaine is typically snorted, but can also be inhaled or injected into the veins. The drug, which is usually found in the form of a white powder, can also be transformed into “crack” and smoked when it is mixed with baking soda. Due to the strong addictive nature of cocaine, it is classified as a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance on New Jersey’s Drug Schedule, meaning that it is recognized as having a high potential for abuse; no current accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions; and abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence. As a result, New Jersey prohibits the possession, manufacture, or distribution of any amount of cocaine, punishing cocaine offenders with severe penalties including jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and felony charges on their criminal records.
Depending on the specific cocaine charges that you are facing, there may be several options available to you. While working toward an outright dismissal is always the top priority, New Jersey offers multiple alternatives to drug offenders that can be viable solutions when a dismissal is not an option. Criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow has achieved countless positive results for clients charged with drug crimes in Monmouth County, New Jersey. When presented with a case, she immediately launches an independent investigation to identify inadmissible evidence and any potential grounds for a dismissal. She aggressively fights for her clients’ rights in the court room and when necessary, uses skilled negotiation to help her clients avoid incarceration. For instance, Tara has facilitated numerous clients’ enrollment in diversionary programs such as Drug Court and Pre-Trial Intervention. These programs allow eligible defendants to complete drug rehabilitation or a period of probation, after which their charges are dismissed. To learn more about how Tara can help you to achieve the best possible result, contact her Monmouth County offices today for a cost-free consultation.Possession of Cocaine in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10
New Jersey law codifies possession of cocaine in section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, prohibiting the possession of cocaine in any amount and classifying these offenses as third degree felonies. Possession of cocaine, which requires the defendant to possess cocaine solely for personal use, is a third degree crime, punishable by a sentence to serve between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison, a maximum fine of $35,000, and a 6-month period of driver’s license suspension. Notably, third degree crimes entail a presumption of non-incarceration, meaning that first-time drug offenders may be eligible for probation or enrollment in a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention. If you successfully complete PTI during a probationary period, the charges against you are dismissed and you can move forward without a conviction on your criminal record.Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing Cocaine in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
New Jersey addresses offenses for manufacturing, distributing, or possessing cocaine with intent to distribute in section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. According to this statute, the degree of these charges is contingent upon the amount (specifically, the measured weight) associated with the offense. The various levels of cocaine distribution charges are delineated as follows:
- 5 or More Ounces of Cocaine – First Degree Crime: punishable by a sentence to serve between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
- Cocaine in a Quantity of Between 1/2 Ounce and 5 Ounces – Second Degree Crime: punishable by a sentence to serve between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
- Less than 1/2 ounce of Cocaine – Third Degree Crime: punishable by a sentence to serve between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $75,000.
First and second degree charges for cocaine distribution entail a presumption of incarceration, meaning that even first-time drug offenders are subject to mandatory prison time. On the other hand, third degree crimes are associated with a non-incarceration presumption, making first-time offenders possible candidates for Drug Court, Pre-Trial Intervention, or probation. In some cases, it is possible to achieve a downgrading of a more serious charge to a lesser offense that improves your chances for enrollment in a diversionary program. In many cases, Drug Court can be a viable option for drug offenders who are charged with non-violent offenses and who do not have prior convictions for violent crimes.Contact a Howell NJ Cocaine Charges Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been charged with possession or distribution of cocaine, or another drug crime, contact the Law Offices of Tara Breslow for a free initial consultation. Ms. Breslow regularly represents clients in Red Bank, Howell, Eatontown, and throughout Monmouth County and she is thoroughly prepared to begin building your best defense.